TITLE: ASSEMBLING CALIFORNIA
AUTHOR: JOHN McPHEE
PUBLISHER: FARRAR, STRAUS & GIROUX; 304 PAGES; $21
THE BOTTOM LINE: A peripatetic author proves that geology can be a page turner.
ASSEMBLING CALIFORNIA IS THE fourth and final volume of John McPhee's "Annals of the Former World" series, his reports on the new geology that began running in the New Yorker back in the Shawnian Era. That was before the Albion Shift uplifted Tina Brown from London and thrust her toward Manhattan, where she eventually docked as the magazine's new editor.
McPhee concluded his project at a good time. Brown's interests are topical, not...